We really enjoyed our weekend away.
We flew to Cape Town on Thursday the 11th, got our car and headed out for a wine tasting with Pieter Walser of Blankbottle.(www.blankbottle.co.za) I really enjoy his ideas behind making wine, and we learned much as we sipped on a variety of obscure varietals. Who would have thought that a Cinsaut was actually drinkable. Fortunately Pieter had to set off for Wellington or we may have never left. We have ordered a few special bottles.
We then set off to get some supplies for supper, 1kg of Strawberries, with some salad, veg and ostrich wors sounded good. As we passed through Franschhoek we saw French Cheese tasting- I'm an Ingram, we bought some Gruyere and Camembert, before heading off to Stony Brook (www.stonybrook.co.za). Got there too late for tasting, but got an SB. We did a walk up to the dam, what a stunning location, we can forgive the ticks we picked up. Its started rainin so we decided to try some Camembert with SB. Well 300g of Camembert is not much. It wa sgood not to have TV so we had a good long peaceful sleep.
The strawberries made a good breakfast, then off to start tasting. "The Max" is an awesome name(our one dog is Max) as well as a stunning Cab Sav, we bought a few with an MCC (SA version of Champagne) had a good tasting, set off for My Wijn, (www.mywynfranschhoek.co.za) a boutique winery where we tasted some stunning wines. Spent a few hours talking to Johann before setting off for Simons Town. We stopped at Tokara (www.tokara.co.za) for a light lunch. We got to Marianella a but late so kept our host waiting (www.marianella.com), traffic and road works can be problem.
What an amazing place, we were in the guest cottage. We unpacked, then went off to Seaforth for a fishy supper. (www.seaforthrestaurant.co.za/aboutus.html), walked along the beach for a bit before endulging in grilled blue nose, was pretty good.
The next morning we did a loosener, Liz did 5km out, I stopped at around 3.7km and waited for her to return. It was amazing to walk at sea level, may HR hardly got up at all. After the easy walk we set off for the Good Hope center to collect my numbers. On the way back we looked at variosu spots that Liz could meet up with me. It was different to be on the receiving end of seconding. I then watched Cricket and rugby followed by a relaxed braai and getting everything ready for my early morning. What a night, the wind howled..and howled.....
The next morning was quite chilly so I put on a light sweater. Liz drove me to the start. I took a black plastic bag and an Energade- which I drank just before the start. When the gun went the rush was amazing, I held back and decided to just enjoy the race, the south easter was directly into us. I walked at a comfortable pace, getting down to about 7:30 / km on average. Liz had gone back to Marianella after dropping me off and to do a run from there to millers point( our turnaround point) ,I got hot quite quickly then a referee told me in no uncertain terms that my number must always be visible so I took the sweater off, I gave this to Liz on her return run. (She later admitted she nearly did not go because of the wind) When I turned at Millers I was about 20th. I noted how strong most of those in front of me looked and wondered about my hoping for a top 10. It was really good to have the wind at my back, so I increased my pace, never going below 7:00 /km but close to it, but walking at a comfortable pace- my speed training obviously paid off. Liz met me at Glencairn ( we drove the route the day before and settled on some good locations) and gave me 330ml bottle of weak Energade (about half strength), this was a life saver as the water tables were very infrequent. At 25k to go I was on 3:02:30( the distance to here was 24.4km) It got quite hot on the stretch through Kalk bay to Muizenberg, but I like heat. Liz met me on Steenberg rd at around 33km– Energade again. I started catching and overtaking some walkers now. At around 40k I overtook the 3rd man, and at around 43k I overtook the second guy. I was so scared he would catch me that I never looked back. As I over took him I felt my hamstrings getting tight and cramping.( I have had tight hamstrings since a month before comrades) Just then Liz popped up with the last Energade, and I took 2 Cramp Ease, they seemed to work immediately- I had taken some previously as a precaution.
I then walked it out to the finish. My first ever podium finish. I thoroughly enjoyed the race. It was awesome to walk into the finish and be whisked away by the Spartan Harriers team ( they are the organising club) it felt good to be a celebrity for a short time. We waited around for the prizegiving and to be presented a silver medal on stage was great. Photos to follow. I finshed as the second man in 6:02:48, I was really happy with the time especially as many walkers complained about the wind, heat and poor water tables. It was also good to achieve a negative split, ie faster in the second half than the first half. By the way I used My Asics Hyperspeed which were perfect. there were 35408 entrants in total , but only about 200 in the 50k.
We then went back to Marianella, and I watched Arsenal beat Everon, end to a perfect day. We then had the Stony Brook MCC to celebrate, but struggled to with the Max so we left some for Monday.
On Monday we headed off to Cape Point Nature Reserve where we did some dune walking, this really helped my legs. There is also a nice long climb up to the light house, the bus tourists seemed to struggle, not sure why.
We then headed of to fetch our friend Eve at the airport, going back over Chapmans Peak, and up Constantia Nek to get an idea for our next visit to Cape Town when we do Two Oceans over Easter.
Had a seafood diner with Eve, finished "the max" and had a good catch up. The seconding got to Liz and she passed out.
On Tuesday we set off for a stunning drive over Du Toits kloof pass, up through Slanghoek vally and over Bains Kloof pass to Wellington. Did some interesting tasting at Doolhof and Ridgeback, off to the airport and home to Max and Sasha.